Medium businesses are highly vulnerable and online criminals can easily stop their operations. Fortunately, it’s much simpler and more affordable to get the right security in place.
It once made sense that a smaller target is a harder target. But this doesn’t apply to the online world where criminals can scale attacks and make profit greatly with little risk. Ransomware is the prime example: such attacks can target numerous businesses at once, encrypt the victim’s files and force them to pay a ransom in hope of getting their data back.
This tactic is used very successfully on medium businesses: earlier this year hundreds of US dentistry offices were hit by a ransomware attack. Chillingly, they were all infected through a single software provider that the criminals breached. But ransomware can arrive through an email or by clicking on a web link. Once it is in, data is frozen and productivity stops.
Small is easier prey in the online world because there is less risk, said Bianca Dafel, Business Manager: Dell End Point Security:
“Large enterprises have been fighting back and can invest in serious security systems. These aren’t foolproof, but they make many attackers think twice. But medium businesses often don’t have the resources for sophisticated security or to absorb an attack. They represent a much lower risk for cybercriminals. Even a few thousand rands from a handful of businesses is a good payday for the amount of effort involved. Sadly many of those companies still don’t get their files back even after they pay.”
Ransomware is joined by a rogue’s gallery of other techniques, including malware and phishing. Yet according to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, human error is an even more common threat to businesses (35%) than ransomware (19%) and malware (14%) combined. Data protection is not just about security, but business continuity.
Medium Business Continuity
Business continuity is readily associated with large enterprises due to its complexity and expense. But that has changed. Today’s Technology services are much more available, Dafel explained:
“Traditional business resiliency meant buying big storage systems that you held on-premise or moved data to through costly connections. But cloud services have taken away the need to own anything and broadband has made data transmission much more affordable. These services can be consumed through a usage or subscription basis, so it’s much easier to manage costs and fit the service to the business. This is why it’s much easier for medium businesses to build business continuity.”
Business continuity goes hand in hand with good security, as is evident from the latest Dell Medium Business Survey. When asked where medium businesses want to focus their security investments, the results were:
- Email security (49%)
- Two-factor authentication (47%)
- Data traffic/encryption (43%)
- Cloud security (43%)
Dell Technologies is responding to the demands of medium businesses. Realising that the power of enterprise tools are now available to smaller companies, it has created services and products to help medium businesses pursue good security and business continuity at rates they can get returns from.
It starts with the right advice suited to the business. Dell Medium Business Technology Advisors give businesses the technology, advice and one-on-one partnership required to fuel business growth. There is also a range of services to access through Dell’s business and consumer devices, not to mention operational systems such as storage and access to cloud backups. Dell Finance and Dell’s PC-as-a-Service divisions go even further to help reduce operational costs and fund technology investments through flexible, consumption-based models.
“Security and business continuity is not a single thing you do or a few boxes you tick,” said Dafel. “You need a plan, you need to know what’s important to your business. Then there are several actions you can take to improve security and business resilience while improving funding and freeing resources. What’s important to know is that it’s all there for medium businesses to access. The barriers aren’t cost or complexity, but finding the right partner to make it work.”
Medium businesses are now the favoured targets of cybercriminals. But they have more access and choice to harden their security, protect their data and keep their people productive. By introducing business continuity and security every medium business can stay secure and ready for unforeseen disaster. Your data stays protected and your employees stay productive.